GST is finally here!

After months of speculation, GST (Goods & Services Tax) is finally here. There would be an impact on printing & publishing industry as well. Though children’s’ picture, drawing or colour books will continue to be out of tax bracket, items like postage or revenue stamps, stamp-post marks, first-day covers will be taxed at 5%. Besides, 12% tax is levied on colouring books, picture books, exercise books and note books, playing cards, chess board, carom board and other board games, like ludo, etc, though notebooks will be taxed at 18%.

There has been a mixed reaction to GST. While few are appreciating this move, others are condemning it totally. Though associations like Federation of Educational Publishers in India (FEPI) appealed to the government to keep colouring books, picture books and exercise notebooks out of the tax bracket as this will put additional burden on the parents, there has been no change till now. What long-term impact would GST bring on different sectors and the economy at large, is yet to be seen.

The Indian publishing industry is getting attention worldover. The upcoming IPA Congress 2018 to be held in the Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi from February 11-13, 2018, with around 900 delegates in attendance, is a testimony to this fact. This is the second time the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) has assumed responsibility for the now biennial congress, having first staged it in 1992. The theme of the congress is ‘Shaping the Future Innovation Meets Experience,’ where experts will present, question, debate, analyze—and finally emerge with a new set of perspectives, ideas and takeaways.

Next month, FIP is also organising their annual Delhi Book Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and we expect both publishers and other stakeholders of the industry, including the book lovers to make a beeline for this annual show. Let’s celebrate the joy of reading and publishing.

Sonal Khurana

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